Encouraging the midlife woman to grow, thrive and prosper

Clothes Challenge: How Many Outfits are in My Wardrobe

Clothes Challenge: How Many Outfits are in My Wardrobe

As autumn folds itself into winter, it’s time to set myself a clothes challenge. Last time I wrote about my seasonal wardrobe and how I’ve added a pop of red to it. But how practical is my choice of style and colours in reality. Do they work, or do I just have a rail of pretty clothes?

The Challenge

I’d like to think that I’m a ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ kind of girl. But I’m not! I’m a planner and a list-maker. When it comes to my wardrobe, I’m not one of those people who can fling on the first thing they find and look great…effortlessly. I have to think about style, substance, comfort, and whether my outfit is appropriate for that day’s activities.

I don’t have a big wardrobe. My capsule currently consists of 29 items (not including undies, PJs or my running gear). But just how wearable are those 29 items? Are they hard-working enough, and do they warrant a place in my wardrobe?

For this challenge, I shall mix and match the individual items to see how many different outfits I can make from the staples hanging in my wardrobe. I also want to find out if I truly needed the additional 4 items on my wish list.

The Clothes

I’m not going to list my clothes because I’ve done so already, here and here. I’m afraid you’re going to have to trust me on this one! Suffice to say, my core colours are black, cream and red. I also have a touch of grey and my faithful blue denim. The fun starts here…

Quite a while later…

Ok, so here’s the thing. I’ve had a play-around and started to list out the various outfits I could make from the clothes hanging in my wardrobe. But then I started to yawn, and I realised just how boring this post was becoming. You don’t want an endless list to go through. If you’re anything like me you just want to get to the result! So here we go…

The Result

I stopped counting outfits at 86, which is astounding. That means that my slim wardrobe has enough clothes in it to wear a different outfit every day for nearly 3 months!

The most hardworking item in my wardrobe is my cream puffa jacket. I can wear it with pretty much everything else I own. It’s warm and snuggly so I’m looking forward to wrapping myself up in it as the weather gets colder. I will need a hat, which is a shame as I really don’t suit them. I can’t bear the thought of freezing out of vanity, though.

My black jeans are proving a great investment. I made 11 outfits from them without even trying.

My sweaters are really interchangeable, and work well on their own or layered up. My only concern with the polo necks is that they’re not very thick. I’ll see how it goes, but I may end up swapping them for some thicker versions as we head into winter…or maybe I’ll treat myself to some cashmere if funds allow.

My boots are a godsend, and will be absolutely crucial as we move into the colder months. My court shoes look smart and very businesslike, but I bet my toes will get nippy in them. It’ll be interesting to see if they make it to the front of my winter wardrobe, or whether they lurk at the back until spring.

The least hardworking item is my red dress. That’s because it’s too chilly to wear on its own, so maybe I can justify that black blazer after all!


I now have pages of ideas in my bullet journal. I’ll certainly be trying out most of these looks in the coming months, and I might even post a few pictures – either here, or on Instagram and Facebook. The thing I’m not very good at is styling/accessorising. I’m not very brave when it comes to wearing scarves and the little jewellery I wear is very discreet. The boldest I get is the red polish on my nails…and even that is a fairly new addition to my beauty repertoire.

I’m a big fan of handbags, but the thing I’m missing is a black tote. My old faithful tan bag just doesn’t cut it any more. So I’m on the lookout for something a bit special – a workhorse that also looks good. Please give me the nod if you see one I might like!

When I look at other women, I can see that it’s the accessories – the little details – that make all the difference, and elevate an outfit from ‘ok’ to ‘wow’. I genuinely don’t have the know-how, but would love to look polished and elegant. If you can help me out on this one, do leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.




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